Filing the Arena with life for FINA World Championships Budapest 2017
Filing the Arena with life
Tamas Gyarfas, Co-President of the BP2017 Organising Committee and FINA Bureau Member 2017-2021
“Thanks to FINA, we managed to find ways to produce something memorable. I wrote about that a couple of times, but still, I have to recall the advice of Joaquin Pujol, Chairman of the FINA Facilities Committee who had been involved in time to prepare a perfect architecture for the Duna Arena. His deep knowledge was needed to construct this breathtaking venue which serves as a fine example for future organisers. After visiting the venue, representatives of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics told us that they now knew what kind of aquatic centre they wanted. Exactly this.
All the function areas of the Arena were designed carefully in view of the needs of a top-level diving and swimming meet. Perhaps that is what prompted the comments of Adam Peaty, the lionhearted British breaststroker who said that he couldn’t imagine a better venue and a meet better organised. There was room for everyone and everything. Enough space that the different groups (athletes, coaches, officials, VIPs, media, spectators) were easy to divide from each other.
One day I met Mr. Pujol circulating the inside of the Arena “I’m just checking whether it works, what we imagined during the designing process”, he said. Well, it worked, thanks to the careful planning, which was partly based on his suggestion. Of course, there were last-minute adjustments, but thank God, the most important participants, the athletes, didn’t discover those changes (Adam Peaty surely did not…).
Also, I can recall moments when the whole FINA Bureau stood on the raw concrete floor wearing helmets, already praising us for building the pool with such speed. The venue grew rapidly indeed, as the sun shone on their helmets and we had just one and a half years left to go…
Our constructors performed a miracle, however. They finished the job in a world record time but even after testing it a couple of times, the big exam was due only in July. When every single corner of the Arena would really come to life.”
The commissioning of the Project for the Museum of Sport in Baku, Azerbaijan
After the major sporting events in the First European Games that have been held this year in Baku, as well as the designation of the capital of Azerbaijan as the circuit for the Formula One European Grand Prix in 2016, the Ministry of Youth and Sports has decided to embark upon the construction of the Museum of Sport.
Pujol Arquitectura has the honour of being appointed as the project team with the aim of starting the building work as soon as possible.
The building is planned for a site that in the near future will contain the new Ministry of Youth and Sports building.
The museum will rise above a grand plaza that provides access to the building’s foyer. From there, the permanent exhibitions will be distributed on the upper floors and the temporary exhibitions in the basement, along with a generously sized restaurant.
The museum is positioned floating above a platform and it is conceived as a singular volume, expressed through curved geometries that reflect the perimeter exhibition ramp connecting the two floors that will exhibit the museum’s content.
The new FINA headquarters under construction
The International Swimming Federation (FINA), based in Lausanne (Switzerland), has decided to move its official headquarters to the Ville Bellevue, a building surrounded by an elegant garden, in which it has also been possible to build a new block.
The Villa, besides being situated high up in a smart district of the city with magnificent views of the lake, is also classed as a part of the city’s historical heritage. This is why a meticulous refurbishment of the 1876 building is taking place, being done in collaboration with the expert Swiss architects Glatz Delachaux.
The project designed by Pujol Arquitectura has been based on maximum respect for the spirit of the original landmark building, adjusting it to the technological necessities and the comfort that its new use as offices implies. At the same time the construction of the new block and an underground car park will allow FINA to have all the necessary resources for the optimal administration of world swimming.
The building work is going perfectly according to plan and within the established deadlines, so FINA will be able to move into its emblematic new headquarters in September 2016.
Let the magic begin: the European Games Baku 2015 gets underway
The European Games Baku 2015 were officially opened on Friday 12th June. This is especially important for Pujol Arquitectura, because of its high degree of involvement in the design of many of the sports facilities for the European Games. It is a chance to see, once again, the level of requirements and the quality achieved in the projects designed and built by the Studio. The Games, with 25 different events, is a challenge and a great achievement for the city of Baku and for the republic of Azerbaijan, which is organizing for the first time a major international sporting event with the highest architectural standards. Furthermore, it will be an incomparable chance to enjoy sport in complete comfort and efficiency thanks to the design of the areas set aside for spectators and competitors. Enjoy the games!
Pujol Arquitectura, crucial in the overlay of Baku 2015
With the holding of the European games Baku 2015, the Republic of Azerbaijan hopes to position itself at the forefront of international sporting competitions and take centre stage on the map, above all in Europe, as occurred previously with the Eurovision festival. Therefore, hiring the people most qualified to achieve optimum facilities for the event has been a priority. Not only has Pujol Arquitectura designed and built the Aquatic Centre (which will hold the swimming, diving and synchronized swimming competitions) and the European Games Park (whose programme includes facilities for water polo, beach volleyball, beach soccer and 3 x 3 basketball), but it has also renovated and adapted the structure that was built for Eurovision, the Crystal Hall, to include in it the boxing, volleyball, karate, taekwondo and fencing competitions. It has also updated the shooting pavilion. For all these reasons Pujol Arquitectura has been a key player in the overlay of the majority of events that will be on offer in the European Games Baku 2015.
The Aquatic Centre and the EGP ready for Baku 2015
Ilham Aliyev, president of Azerbaijan, inaugurates the Aquatic Centre and the EGP (European Games Park), both designed by Pujol Arquitectura for the European Games 2015 in the Azerbaijani city of Baku. Just over a month before the opening ceremony, the president of the Republic, Ilham Aliyev, and his wife, Mehriban Aliyeva, president of the European Games Baku 2015, accompanied by Azad Rahimov, minister for young people and sport, inaugurated the Aquatic Centre in a solemn ceremony on 20th April, and they were able to see for themselves the high quality of the installations that in all certainty will become a benchmark of international standards.
On 13th May, the sports facilities of the EGP that will hold the water polo, beach volleyball, beach soccer and 3×3 basketball competitions were also inaugurated, bearing testimony to the huge amount of organizational work in the programme implemented by Pujol Arquitectura.
Pujol Arquitectura renews its website: a new milestone for sports architecture
Placing itself at the forefront and transmitting its knowledge and experience in the field of sports architecture is the essential mission of this platform, which has sections about the studio’s past, present and future.
Intuitive, contemporary fresh design is combined with a wealth of content that groups together Pujol Arquitectura’s most important and outstanding projects, explained in detail, as well as its history and the projects it is currently working on.
Furthermore, there is a section about international consultancy, especially designed to show the huge amount of work that the studio does in this respect.
With this website, which will appear in three languages (Spanish, English and Russian), sports architecture has a renewed and powerful online point of reference.